Florida’s K-12 state exams in reading, math and science will be scrapped because of coronavirus

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Amid coronavirus fears, the Florida Department of Education announced Tuesday that K-12 schools will be closed until least April 15, and kids won’t be taking crucial state exams.

The reading, math and science exams for public school students as well as what’s called end-of-course exams for high school kids have played a key role in making sure students are mastering Florida’s academic standards.

And the exam results for years have been used to judge schools with A-F letter grades. Those grades will be not be calculated for 2019-20 schools.

Schools had been prepared to administer the spring exams from April 1 and through May 15, in reading and math in grades 3 to 8, plus some high school reading exams and Grade 4 to 10 exams in writing.

Science exams for 5th and 8th graders were supposed to take place May 11-22.

Some high school students already took Algebra and geometry end-of-course exams in the first half of the school year, but exams scheduled in May and July would be cancelled, according to the DOE’s announcement.

The same scenario took place for the end-of-course high school biology, civics and U.S. history exams, with some students already taking the exams in 2019. But the 2020 exams in those subjects appear to be cancelled.

Not clear is whether the cancelled exams could impact students’ ability to graduate.

As to higher education, the education department said all state colleges and universities will be closed for the rest of the semester.

Diane Rado
Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.